Better Know a B: Land of Ed
Land of Ed is an international fashion brand that designs beautiful, functional baby bags and accessories that support children’s educational initiatives around the world. What’s in a name? Land of Ed is the Land of (Ed)ucation, founded by (E)ileen Vincett and (D)anica Shepetys.
SD | Tell us a bit about the history of your company?
Although originally from Canada, I met my American counterpart Eileen Vincett in 2012 while we were both working in London’s fashion industry. Land of Ed started innocently following the realization, after (long) coffee breaks, that we could combine our commercial and creative backgrounds across the luxury fashion sector with our desire to make this world a better place. The inception truly came from very basic foundations - a love for better business and a dream that anything is possible.
SD | Why did you become a B Corp?
How could we not? It was the necessary first step to ensuring that we walked our talk. You are ultimately the company that you keep and we could not wait to surround ourselves with businesses that inspire. Plus who would not want to be part of a movement and community creating positive change for our world.
Credit: Jager + Kokemor Photography
SD | What excites you about being part of the global B Corporation movement?
Aside from getting to use the hashtag #bthechange with everything? We fully recognize that being part of the movement from the ground up is a badge of honour. If we can be mentioned among the likes of Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia or Andy Middleton of TYF Group, we know we’re onto something special.
SD | Can you tell us about the impact that your company is having in the world?
With a love for kids, and a belief (fact) that education is instrumental to global progress, Land of (Ed)ucation was created with a simple mission: to create beautiful, functional accessories that support children’s educational initiatives around the world.
How is this done? Each range is dedicated to funding a unique project, from a school build in Burma, to school facilities in a refugee camp in Greece. For every item sold, an element of our partner’s project is built.
SD | What benefits have you seen since certification?
Despite being part of the founding B Corp community in 2015, we still consider ourselves to be the new kids on the block. With that in mind, we are often in awe at the people around us in the BCorp family - the community is so inspiring, their platforms so future focused. We can’t believe that we get to learn from these peers, and be mentored by some of the greatest leaders across these multi-faceted industries. Without question that’s been the greatest takeaway - we’ve become friends with some of the brightest and coolest minds.
SD | How did your other staff react to the certification.
Our suppliers, supporters, friends and family were all very interested to learn about this new way of doing business. We are a small tag team of two at the moment but look forward to sharing BCorp's message with our office of 1,000 employees in the future!
Credit: Jager + Kokemor Photography
SD | What has changed in your organisation as a result of taking the B Impact Assessment?
We have become even more future focused. How will one business decision impact the next, and the next? It is a much more considered process.
While the emphasis of our company is on having a sustainable business model that will support children’s education with product proceeds, we are equally driven to create a business that respects each element of design - from sourcing to manufacturing and the related environmental impacts that are attributed to each. In taking the BIA, we want to continue to be leaders within the fashion industry and know the goal-posts will be forever shifting.
SD | What does the year ahead hold in store for your company?
Throughout the process of building Land of Ed, it has ultimately been the power of our business and peer community that has enabled us to grow our brand organically. Each new opportunity never ceases to amaze us, it truly has become a belief that anything is possible.
In the next year, having partnered with two incredible micro-charities ‘’Building Schools for Burma’’ and ‘’Edlumino’’, we plan to build a school in rural Burma and also support the educational facilities of children displaced by war in refugee camps in Greece.
Paddy Gilfeather founded “Building Schools for Burma” to create educational opportunities for children in remote regions of Burma. As it is a country that remains one of the poorest in the world, combined with decades of political unrest, along with seasonal flooding, many children are cut off from the most basic opportunities. Now together with the sale of our Patrick tote, and supported by the the local community in the Chin State, including monks and tribal leaders, parents and students, we are able to build a sustainable school, fully supported by this community, so that it continues for years to come.
We are also looking ahead to our second project with Dr. Rory Fox’s ‘’Edlumino’’, a charity of qualified teachers that ensures children in refugee camps continue to receive their foundations in core subjects despite their circumstances caused by war and displacement. We had the pleasure of visiting Edlumino at their makeshift school in a camp located in Dunkirk, France and were impressed by their approach and care. While the school there has positively been handed over to the French State, the sale of our Sawyer shopper will support their next school in Greece.
Credit: The Guardian
SD | Who is your B Corp crush?
The crush list is long! We have met some truly wonderful fellow BCorp companies at events over the last year. We adore Mark Cuddigan and the Ella's team - they have supported us immensely through social media this past year and will eternally crush on them for it! In terms of fashion, the industry insights from Kresse Wesling from Elvis & Kresse have always been dear, with ten years of experience running a successful company, the advice game is strong. Goes without saying, we have to mention Kate Sandle from the B Corp UK office too. This girl is a force to be reckoned with with and has been a huge support since day one!
SD | It’s 2020, 5 years since you certified as a B Corp, what does the movement look like?
BCorp will be everywhere and widely known. Consumers will seek out the BCorp stamp on a brand's website, in store and on packaging. The work done by BCorp brands is too important and the passion of our community is great. We have no doubt it will be in every household and a major player in all industries in the next five years.
SD | What is inspiring you at the moment?
After visiting the refugee camps in France, and seeing children that have endured the nightmare of having to leave their communities, homes, schools etc., seeing them voluntarily running to Edlumino's school desperate to learn and not let their futures slip away...that inspires us. We will work hard for these children and all children around the world who want these opportunities that we have been so lucky to have.